Football Outsiders ranks Buffalo Bills pressure rates as part of NFL’s best

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Football Outsiders took a gander at each NFL teams pressure success in different fronts, with the Buffalo Bills finishing near the top in most.

Football Outsiders’ Scott Spratt analyzed each NFL team’s success in 2018 when pressuring via a four-man front, blitzes, two- and three-man fronts, and defensive back blitzes. It is judged based among the frequency, pressure rate, and DVOA. The Buffalo Bills finished amongst the NFL’s best in most categories.

Football Outsiders judges success rate partially on their metric DVOA. In layman’s terms, the statistic tracks every play from a given NFL season and compares it to the league-average for an individual situation. It measures yards towards a first down, on every down, and the crucial red zone yardage on downs — with an emphasis on it. It’s a percentage; on offense, the higher it is, the better; on defense, the lower, the better.

With that known, Football Outsiders is looking at a defense’s DVOA concerning times pressured to give a ranking for a team’s success in the previously mentioned fronts. In all but two- and three-man fronts, the Bills finished towards the top in the NFL.

  • Four-man rushes: frequency – 72.8%, pressure rate – 33.8%, DVOA – -15.1%, rank -second
  • Blitzes (non-DB): frequency – 21.4%, pressure rate – 46.2%, DVOA – -31.8%, rank – fourth
  • DB blitzes: frequency – 9.9%, pressure rate – 46.9%, DVOA – 87.9%, rank – first

As for two- and three-man fronts, the Bills don’t run a 3-4; they run a 4-3. The frequency for these rushes comes at just 5.8%, and offenses found success against them, as they allowed a 50.9% DVOA on such plays.

The Bills’ outstanding pressure rates, as mentioned by Spratt, is an indicator that sacks don’t mean everything. Buffalo finished 2018 as the NFL’s 26th team in terms of sacks with 36, but remain near the league’s top in the ability to create pressure.

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Entering 2019, the Bills could get even better in each of the three mentioned categories. They retained the same defensive front-seven as in 2018, are getting a healthy Trent Murphy, and added a significant boost of monstrous athleticism and relentless in Ed Oliver in the interior. Quarterbacks should be scared to play Buffalo.